The Early Days: Feeding Support and Therapies in Infancy

In infancy, establishing an effective feeding plan is crucial. Children with unrepaired clefts have difficulty creating suction and feeding effectively. We work closely with families to find specialized bottles and cups to meet each child’s needs. We also provide feeding therapy to facilitate the transition to solid foods.

Ongoing Care Needs in Childhood

As the child grows into the toddler and school-age years, ongoing speech-language therapy and assessments for velopharyngeal dysfunction become integral. Our team of speech-language pathologists have specialized expertise in cleft care and provide individualized treatment to meet each child’s speech and language goals. Surgery may also be recommended during this time to improve speech. We collaborate closely with surgeons, audiologists, dentists, psychologists and others to coordinate comprehensive care.

Continued Support in the Adolescent Years

In the teenage years, our team continues to monitor speech and language development, ensure appropriate dental and orthodontic care, and tend to the psychosocial needs of adolescents with clefts. Plastic surgery procedures to refine lip and nasal form may also be considered once facial growth is complete.

Transitioning to Adulthood

As the child transitions to young adulthood, we help provide resources for continued care coordination and assist with major life changes like pursuing higher education and careers. Our psychologists are available to support self-confidence and self-esteem related to residual speech differences or facial features.

Specialized Care for the Whole Journey

At our Center for Orofacial Myology, your child is cared for by a specialized team focused on their comprehensive physical and emotional needs at all stages of cleft treatment. Through coordinated efforts and a whole-person approach, we facilitate the best possible outcomes for each unique child. Contact us today to learn more about our cleft and craniofacial care programs at (208) 793-7006!